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Dear Coleen: I’m determined to leave him but I know I’ll break his heart – Coleen Nolan

Dear Coleen

I’m a 36-year-old woman and I’ve been married for eight years to a man who’s 12 years older. We have two kids aged five and three.

I’ve realised over the past couple of years that, although I love him as a friend and I care about him, I’m not in love with him.

I suppose when we got together I was swept away by him – he’s ­confident, successful and nice looking, and I was flattered he wanted to be with me. The truth is, we actually have little in common and I don’t fancy him, which is the thing that upsets me most. I know he’d be devastated if he knew that.

I’m determined to leave and live the life I want, and have the opportunity to meet someone who’s right. However, I’m desperately worried about breaking my husband’s heart and I’m worried about the effect on our kids, too.

I know he’ll try everything to
change my mind and convince me I’m wrong and things can change, which is why I’ve put off telling him.

He thinks there’s a practical solution to ­everything, but the spark just isn’t there – not for me anyway. What
can I do? I feel like I’m being selfish.

Coleen says

There’s no easy way to deliver this kind of news I’m afraid, but you sound as if your mind is made up. You have to trust your instinct and be honest with him about what you want.

You don’t have to go into forensic details that are going to hurt him, but he deserves an explanation in order to make sense of it.

Yes, he’ll be devastated and things will be hard for a while – there’s no point in lying about that – but you will get through it a day at a time.

I think it would help both of you to focus on your ­children and how to make things as easy for them as possible.

Hopefully, you’ll get to a point in the future when you can be friends with him – that’ll make co-parenting a lot easier. Just don’t expect that right away because he’ll need time to come to terms with your decision about the marriage.

He deserves the chance to be happy, too, and meet someone who is in love with him – at 48 he’s still a young guy. Be brave and good luck.

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